Earlier this week, two persons of interest were arrested in Chicago for alleged involvement in the assault of "Empire" actor, Jussie Smollett, who was attacked while walking home from a Subway restaurant on Jan. 29.
Now, Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi has confirmed that the two brothers, Olabinjo (Ola) and Abimbola Osundairo (Abel), have been released from custody. "Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging," Guglielmi said in a statement. "Detectives have additional investigative work to complete."
According to original reports, Smollett attackers were reported to be two white men that shouted homophobic and racist slurs towards him. His attackers also allegedly threw bleach on him and tied a noose around his neck. The two men arrested at Chicago's O'Hare Airport this week were of Nigerian descent. The Osundairo brothers' home was raided on Wednesday (Feb. 13) and according to TMZ authorities seized a "long list" of potential evidence — including several bottles of bleach.
Both brothers have appeared on "Empire." Ola appeared on season 2 as a prisoner and Abel worked on the set as recently as last month.
After rumors circulated on social media that Smollett staged the attack because he was being written off the show, both writers for the show and Guglielmi say that is incorrect. "While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is no evidence to say that this is a hoax."
The writers of Empire have never planned or even discussed writing @JussieSmollett off of the show.— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) February 15, 2019
"There is 0% truth that @JussieSmollett was going to be written off of Empire," one of the writers for "Empire" tweeted. "This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed."
Season 5 of "Empire" returns to Fox on March 13 at 8/7c.